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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

The Firefox 3 launch might be more important than you realize

June 18, 2008

I don’t know how many applications you have installed on your computer but I have enough where there is an update to one of them at least once per week and often times more.

Due to this barrage of updates yesterday’s release of Firefox 3.0 may just seem like another run-of-the-mill update to one of the applications on your computer.  I assure you this just isn’t so.

Sometimes the beginning is the best place to start. Mozilla Firefox, an open source browser, started out as a project within the Mozilla corporation, then named Pheonix, to battle against the feature creep that was happening with the Mozilla Suite of applications.  Do you remember when Mozilla was a huge download with tons of “applications” within one application?  Well, that was why Firefox was originally branched off into its own application, to deal with that bloat.

But, we can go back even farther than that.  Instead of reiterating what is already out there I recommend reading the Wikipedia entry on Mozilla Firefox (which leads to many, many pages of information) as well as watching a video that Andy Baio recently shared called Code Rush.  Code Rush is a documentary that aired on PBS about Netscape opening the source of their browser, calling it Mozilla.

After reading through, and watching the documentary on, the information and history of Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, and Mosaic you just can’t help but feel that a little bit of history was written over the last few days while millions upon millions of copies of the Firefox 3.0 browser has been downloaded from the Mozilla Web site.

So while you download your copy ((The Mozilla Web site is nearly unreachable because of the attention that Firefox 3.0 is getting.  I recommend waiting a day or two before giving it a try.)), install the software, and use it to view Web pages – realize that thousands of people and years worth of history are behind the application you are using.

Update: Also worth watching is a Google Talk by Mike Pinkerton who was on the original Netscape team and now manages the Camino project at Mozilla.  Found via Andy Baio’s comment thread on Code Rush.